Budgies are amongst one of the most exciting and popular parrot species kept as pets.
However, one of the biggest challenges as a bird owner is feeding them the right diet because, like most, a healthy diet is essential for them as well.
Can Budgies Eat Grapes?
Yes, budgies can eat grapes but only in moderation. In fact, budgies love this juicy and sweet-tasting food and show an immense liking to it. They can easily get addicted to it.
Grapes have plenty of minerals like manganese and potassium and vitamins like A and C. They are necessary and highly beneficial for budgies. But grapes also have plenty of fructose that can be overwhelming for a small bird like the budgie.
Regular consumption of it can lead to several health problems like obesity and so on.
Budgies and Grapes Eating.
To understand the connection between the two better, let us first understand the dietary habit of our feathered friend in the wild.
Budgies or parakeets are native to Australia. In the wild, they are used to eating fresh greens, seeds, nuts, grains, berries, and other varieties of food.
They feed on available food on or near the ground. It also makes their diet versatile as you do not get the same food available all around the year.
The domesticated budgie is no different and loves to feed on a wide variety of food, including various fruits and vegetables.
But whether in the wild or as pets, budgies naturally love food, which makes them vulnerable to obesity, iodine deficiency, and many other nutrition-related health issues.
Budgies get access to grapes occasionally in the wild which helps them remain healthy.
In a domesticated state, they might get access to grapes regularly, which can be detrimental to their health due to its high fructose content.
What are all the health benefits of grapes?
Grapes exist in the wild and can also be grown commercially. They come in both seed and seedless varieties. Its skin can be thin to highly thick, while its color can vary from green to red all the way.
Grapes offer plenty of nutritional goodness and play an important role in meeting the dietary requirements of budgies. A few of its key benefits include:
Grapes are a rich source of B-complex vitamin or thiamin, which is critical for the smooth functioning of the bird’s nervous system. The deficiency of this vitamin can cause loss of appetite, occasional seizures, and in severe cases, even death.
Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 is critical for budgies as it plays a vital role in protein metabolism in the parakeet’s body. Lack of this vitamin can lead to stunted growth, make them look dull and impoverished due to lack of appetite, and make egg production harder.
The vitamin C content of the grapes is vital in reducing the stress in the bird, strengthening its immune system, and helping create antibodies. Its lack can be detrimental to the overall health of the budgie, and make them vulnerable to several diseases and infections.
Grapes are a rich source of potassium that helps in enhancing the metabolism speed of the parakeet. It also helps strengthen its bones, reduce blood pressure, retain water in the body, and prevent strokes and other diseases like osteoporosis, kidney stones, etc. Its lack can be pretty harmful to the budgie.
Resveratrol is a plant pigment present in a few fruits, cherries, peanuts, and pistachios. Its concentration is more in red grapes compared to green grapes.
The pigment has strong anti-oxidant properties, and it works in tandem with vitamin D to boost the overall immunity of the bird. It does several other functions.
The pigment produces nitric acid inside the budgie’s body that helps relax the blood vessels and reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
It helps increase the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the body to improve cardiovascular health. Its anti-inflammatory properties protect the budgies from several inflammatory diseases and infections.
The oxidative stress of the cells is also lowered by the pigment. Studies also indicate that the pigment activates genes to fight to age and increase the lifespan of the bird.
Grapes are also loaded with plenty of other antioxidants like polyphenols, carotenoids, etc. They help in preventing cancer, keeping the heart healthy, and inhibiting atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries).
Like us, birds also need all the macronutrients in their diet. They get their energy primarily from carbohydrates and proteins, while fat aids in the metabolism of fat-soluble vitamins. They also require fibers for their digestive health.
Grapes offer several other benefits to budgies, including boosting of eye-health. They aid in forming high levels of protective proteins and decrease the volume of inflammatory proteins in the retina, thereby boosting eye health.
Hence, eating grapes is undoubtedly recommended for budgies.
What are the Effects of over3eating grapes for budgies?
Budgies can reap the benefits of grapes only if they consume them in moderate proportions. But budgies can often binge on grapes as they love their sweet and juicy taste. But the culprit proves to be the fructose content of grapes.
Grapes have about 12 grams of fructose or natural sugar in them. While humans can digest them easily, birds do not produce enough enzymes to digest them.
This upsets their stomach and leads to many health problems. Some of the adverse effects that they face are:
Grapes contain about 84% of water. The content proves too much for budgies. Ideally, they need a high-fiber and low-water diet to keep their digestive system healthy.
Too many grapes lead to excess water that triggers issues like watery stool and diarrhea. It can easily take a severe turn for them.
Like humans, even birds are vulnerable to diabetes and heart diseases. A moderate amount of fructose in grapes is a treat to budgies but excess is detrimental for them.
Budgies digestive system does not produce enough enzymes that can digest fructose well.
Given that, excess consumption of grapes upsets the budgies’ stomach and paves the way to several diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart problems, etc.
Because of the above risks, it is best to feed grapes occasionally and in a moderate amount to the budgies.
How much grapes can you feed your budgies?
Ideally, you can feed one to two grapes once or twice to the budgies. Give it to them as a treat that they will savor and enjoy.
How to feed grapes to your budgies?
We all wash and clean our fruits and vegetables before consumption. The same rule applies to budgies. They are as vulnerable to diseases as we are. Hence, it’s essential to follow some safety rules before feeding grapes to the budgies. They are:
Always rinse the grapes well before feeding to the feathered pets. Grapes have a wax-like outer covering onto which the pesticides and mildly toxic fertilizers attach. If the budgies eat them, it can cause severe diseases and health problems.
To wash properly, you can immerse the grapes in a fruit wash solution and gently scrub them or rub them against each other to make them safe for eating.
In case you do not have the fruit wash, you can prepare one with one part vinegar or baking soda added to three parts of water.
Related Read: Can Budgies Eat Cucumber? Is It Good For Them?
Cut them smaller
Budgies find it challenging to handle oversized food items and always prefer small-sized food. If you cut the grapes into two or four pieces and then feed them, birdies would eat them faster and more happily.
What kind of grapes can budgies eat? Seeded (or) seedless!
It is always preferable to feed seedless grapes to the budgies. You can feed the seeded variety too, but you need to be vigilant with it. The seeds can prove to be a choking hazard to budgies. Except that, they do not pose any other risk.
Thus, small-seeded grapes are ok, but the seedless variety is always preferable.
Can budgies eat Dried grapes?
Many people wonder about feeding dried grapes to budgies.
You can feed them. However, dried grapes have a higher level of sugar and thus more calories, compared to fresh grapes. Therefore, you need to be judicious in the portion you are serving.
Lastly, we address some of the common queries regarding grape feeding to the budgies.
Can budgies eat grape skin?
Grape peels contain the highest concentration of nutrients, but they are also risky because of the pesticides and fertilizers attached to their surface. They can prove toxic to the little birds.
The grape skin can be fed to the budgies, provided they are cleaned thoroughly and all toxins removed from its surfaces. In this view, organic grapes are safer to feed.
For non-organic variety, you can choose to feed just the inner flesh to be on the safe side.
Are green grapes good for budgies?
Green grapes are as healthy for budgies as other varieties. The only difference between it and the red variety is the amount of resveratrol, which is more in the red varieties. Thus, you can feed green grapes but in moderation.
Can grapes kill budgies?
Improperly washed grapes, seeded grapes, and too many grapes can pose serious health threats to budgies and prove fatal in extreme cases. But if taken in moderation, they offer several health benefits to budgies.
So, that was all about grapes feeding and budgies. We hope you enjoyed knowing about it and would feed grapes to your feathered pet the right way, i.e., one to two pieces, once or twice a week.